Taylor's Working Holiday Adventure!
Okay, I am writing this as I sit in my new shared accommodation in Jasper, Alberta.
I made the decision to apply for a working holiday in Canada and 6 months later, I am finally here. It was not an easy decision to make as I lived a very happy life with a great career, but I always had this sense that I needed to get out and see more of the world before I reached 30 (not ageist but working holiday visas are harder with age). After gradually selling my furniture and leaving my job, I was on my way to experience a new life.
Australia to Canada is a BIG trip and because I made the decision to sell my belongings, I ended up YOLO'ing by traveling through Asia for 3 weeks before arriving in Canada. If anyone is reading this and is thinking about volunteering or just traveling through Asia, I highly recommend it! I was solo traveling through Thailand, Vietnam (best country ever), and Japan (Tokyo is a whole new crazy world) and had an amazing time and met wonderful backpackers along the way – it truly was the best start to this adventure.
3 weeks later and after many hours of traveling, I finally made it to Vancouver. My Global Work & Travel Arrival Coordinator had arranged a car and hostel accommodation and sent me tips and tricks on how to get organized early (like getting the SIN number). I arrived at 3 am and was out of bed by 7 am to make it to the Canada Service Centre. I HIGHLY recommend you do this as anyone who arrived after 9 am had to join a waiting list, which could take up to 4-5 hours. This is not what you want to be doing while you are in Vancouver! Once I had the most important document (after the working visa), I set off to the Global Work & Travel orientation. A group of 6 of us, who happened to be from Australia, got to know each other and were given a presentation on what to expect while living in Canada. These 5 other people in the room then became my best friends for the next few days in Vancouver. We explored the bars (kind of weird), attended an Ice Hockey game, and visited the aquarium which was so much fun – they had otters and seals.
The next morning, I sadly had to say goodbye to my new best friends, who were all heading to different places, and make my way to Jasper. I must admit that reaching Edmonton and catching the bus to Jasper was the first time I experienced this culture shock. It is very small country towns with ice everywhere. Anyways, I am now in Jasper, a little tired and run down from all the excitement I have been up to. I am relaxing before I start work in 2 days, then real life begins...